The latest trends have shown that social commerce is on the rise thus businesses which are optimizing their digital experiences across social channels will have a strong competitive advantage. Social media supports e-commerce because shoppers use it during the decision making process before making a purchase. More users on the internet are currently using mobile devices, creating the need for experiences that allow them to buy products wherever they are. We have compiled a list of the best social platforms for businesses whether small, medium or large.
Instagram is one the best social sites to advertise your business since it’s more of a visual platform allowing shoppers to easily decide when purchasing your product. Instagram works best for businesses that are more into e-commerce and users always have an immersive storefront to explore products. The Instagram shopping feature allows business owners to share featured products through organic posts and stories or get discovered through Search & Explore tabs. However users on Instagram are able to use the shopping feature while in these countries and a few in Africa like South Africa, Egypt and Algeria. Businesses can still advertise on Instagram using the normal sharing of photos/ videos and still people contact them from wherever they are.
With over 2.5 billion users across the world, Facebook is the largest social network on the World Wide Web. Most business owners find it easier to advertise and sell their products on their ‘Business pages’. Just like Instagram, Facebook has a Catalog option where businesses can upload product details, prices and also include store locations.
FB users also have access to free tools like the Facebook Business Manager which allows users to easily manage their business pages, catalogs and accounts in one place. Facebook’s integration with Instagram & messenger has made it easier for businesses to manage their shopping in one place. The advertising option will allow business owners to run ads using the Facebook Business Manager Platform and get detailed reports.
A lot of people on the internet use Pinterest to find new ideas about brands and products before they go ahead and make a decision to purchase. Pinterest currently has over 250 million monthly active users with the biggest percentage being in USA. Businesses or brands that are into retail or consumer packaged goods have recently invested more in Pinterest because it helps people find creative ideas for their kind of products. Most of the shoppers on Pinterest are actually at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey meaning they already know what kind of product they need.
Pinterest users can also create business accounts where they can upload product catalogs and do shopping ads. However the shopping feature is available in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and United Kingdom. Pinterest is however running tests to increase the number of countries that can access this option.
Not your usual platform but Twitter is one of the most influential social sites where customers have gone to when seeking clarity about a product/brand or service. Businesses have also been able to get more shopping referrals for their products by identifying ‘Influencers’ and engaging with them. Twitter also gives businesses an opportunity to research about their competitors, and target other uses through Twitter Ads. With over 275 million global users, Twitter is considered to be the number one platform for discovery with 56% of the people more likely to be the first to buy products.
Twitter is a very powerful, impact-ful and unique advertising platform with visual ads taking the lead in content visibility and attracting followers. The platform also allows businesses to get instant customer feedback, which will in turn help them know the exact customer requirements. Twitter’s business solutions rotate around creating engagement for your business, driving performance and measuring results.
WhatsApp Business was built to help the small business owners showcase their products & services using the catalog feature. It’s easier to connect to your customers who use Whatsapp Messenger and respond timely or automate messages. The platform has also helped large and medium sized business to provide customer support to their customers. As of February 2020, the Facebook-owned platform (Whatsapp) has more than 2 billion active users from the 1.6 billion people two years ago.
Users across most social sites have resorted to using instant messaging apps more, creating an opportunity for business using Whatsapp. Also it can be integrated with other services like the ‘Facebook Ads’ where users have an option to chat directly to the Business Whatsapp number. Another feature that was introduced recently – the Whatsapp status (Just like Instagram and Snapchat stories) which vanishes after 24 hours, has helped businesses engage more with customers.
In conclusion, social media will keep growing and evolving each year with new features aimed at creating better experiences for its users. This will give businesses an opportunity to also grow further as consumers get more knowledge about products & services. Social commerce has already taken over and some new entrants like Tik-Tok will soon be on the top of this list.